German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated that Germany is ready to revise the terms of a 750 billion euro ($973 billion) rescue fund for indebted states, saying Europe’s biggest economy will do whatever necessary to protect the euro.
Merkel, who is due to meet today with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was responding remarks made by European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn in which he called for a “comprehensive” plan to contain the sovereign debt crisis.
“We support whatever is needed to support the euro, also with respect to the bailout package,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin at a joint briefing with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
“We’re saying what we’ve always said since the Greek crisis: We will stand by the euro,” Merkel said. “We will do whatever is necessary — and everything else will be discussed step by step.”
Among his proposals, Rehn urged an expansion of the “size and scope” of the EU’s 440 billion-euro rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility. Merkel said as recently as Dec. 6 that she saw no need for additional aid to restock the fund. The IMF makes up the balance.
Merkel will discuss “eurozone competitiveness” with Strauss-Kahn, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.
At her press briefing, Merkel said that the fund’s “volume is far from being used up,” with Ireland the sole country to tap it after Greece received a separate aid package.
“Beyond that I’ll say that Germany will do whatever is necessary so that the euro remains stable,” she said. “That’s our joint currency, from which Germany has profited a great deal.”
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